No, I don’t consider my feet beautiful. They are swollen most of the time. They’re too wide, too small and have manmade holes near the ankles where normal feet have ligaments. But this Jesus of Nazareth guy at whom I was yelling a few weeks ago loves feet. Even mine. And today we observe the anniversary of the greatest foot-washing ceremony in history.
Today, I’ll attend a Holy Thursday service, and another person will ceremoniously pour a bit of water over one of my feet and dry it with a clean towel. It seems silly to a lot of people, too embarrassing for others to participate in. For me, it’s the most beautiful part of the journey toward Resurrection.
I’m not proud of the way my feet look. I’ve even painted my toenails so as to be presentable this evening. But Jesus doesn’t care. On that first night of Passover when he washed feet, those feet weren’t pretty. Those feet walked through dust and mud. Those feet belonged to smelly fishermen and exhausted housewives. Those feet had stepped in donkey dung. Jesus caressed toes stubbed on tree roots. He washed heels blistered by the dusty Roman roads of Judea. He washed smelly, ugly, swollen, tired feet.
Jesus and I still have a lot to sort out, and that’s okay. Tonight, I will bask in his love. The kind of love that touches feet like mine–broken, swollen, bruised–and considers them beautiful. Maybe someday, I’ll even think of those long-ago, untreated baby feet of mine as beautiful too.